Thursday, November 27, 2003
Steamboat resident Dave Gardner is living and working in Antarctica. On Nov. 26, he wrote:
I started to worry when my supervisor had me sign a document that read, "This form is designed not to place blame."
To be a successful Antarctic contract worker, I've found, you should keep your mouth shut. One learns quickly not to draw too much attention to oneself. Those who complain about middle-management decisions or report blatant safety issues often draw bushy-browed stares from National Science Foundation (NSF) representatives and Raytheon Polar Services Company managers.
There seems to be some convenient measure of discrepancy as to whether or not Antarctica should be considered a foreign or domestic country. On one hand, the NSF will have you believe that Antarctica is indeed a foreign country, thus being exempt from many of the rules and regulations applicable back in the States. And when convenient, they'll switch their tune.
The many mixed messages must provide cause for confusion. The store sells alcohol and tobacco products that are stamped "Tax exempt. For use in foreign countries only." And we also get food and beverage products that are years beyond their allowable expiration date. For example, I'm enjoying a Christmas Coke, circa 2002, as I write.